OLDER drivers in East Lancashire are just as safe as younger motorists, according to new research by a national driving body.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists’ report finds that older drivers have better attitudes to safety, deal with hazards better than young drivers and use experience to increase their safety margins.

The report reveals that drivers over 75 react just as quickly as other age groups when a vehicle emerges from a side road or if the car in front brakes suddenly.

Anthony Taylor, 71, of Clayton-le-Moors, regularly races historic cars at speeds of upwards of 200mph in Britain and the USA.

Mr Taylor, owner of Autotune car workshop, in Rishton, said: “At the Can/Am Challenge Cup, most of the racers have 6500 horsepower behind them.

“Older drivers tend to take more care and anticipate what’s in front of them instead of tearing around without consideration for anybody else.”

The report found they go more slowly at all times and keep a bigger following distance than drivers from other age groups but they also stop short at junctions and not look as often as others before pulling out.

Many car insurance brokers will quote drivers over the age of 75 and with clean licences at more than £600 a year.

Lewis Reeve, a Burnley-based driving instructor, said: “Older drivers are said to not take many risks, but they definitely do.

“Older drivers pull out from a junction without checking properly and lead another driver to swerve and have an accident while the older driver can get away without a scratch.

“The older person will not be blamed for this but they do cause accidents, which is why they get the reputation of being dangerous on the roads.”